Artist Statement

AKIBA GIRLS

 

Eye-catching, instant, magical, Junichi Hakamaki’s "Akiba Girls" series aspires to capture the stranged beauty of the young modern Japanese woman, inspired by the bleached and surgically improved fashion addict Lolitas working in Tokyo’s mega-electronic district’s cosplay cafés.

 

The paintings nail you down in their teasingly wide-eyed Manga- heroine innocence, both pure and almost schizophrenically removed from Japan’s traditional beauty paradigms such as extolled by traditional Ukiyo-e artist Utamaro. Junichi’s over-dimensional portraits are an esthetical quest through his native country’s maze of infantile fashion trends back to the subconscious root cause of Western addiction that has lead these young women to want to obsessively erase their Japanese identity by transforming themselves so completely.

 

Originally a fashion designer living the American dream working for Calvin Klein, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci under Tom Ford and Donna Karan, Paris based Junichi Hakamaki tenderly examines his subjects using extremely noble and ancient techniques, combining oil painting on canvas with 16 karat gold leafing or hundreds of hours of immaculate hand embroidery with genuine pearls.